Sterling Ambivalence (sterlingnorth) wrote,
Sterling Ambivalence

Happy New Year, Dear Disney Animator. Here is Your Final Paycheck.

A few days after Brother Bear surprised box office analyses with its strong opening numbers, Disney lobbed a grenade at their Florida animation studios announcing that they were shutting the studio down, and shuttering any projects in process by the studio -- which would be the My Peoples film. . . aka A Few Good Ghosts. This is the troubled studio that produced such undistinguished fare like Mulan, Lilo and Stitch, and mentioned earlier Brother Bear.Now, unless there is a last minute reprieve, final bell rings on January 12th.

Now, why would a studio with a storied history, and primo real estate inside the Walt Disney World theme park be on the chopping block? Well, part of it may be the prettier and more popular girl over on the opposite coast. Her name is Pixar. Pixar is the current darling in the animation world with a non-stop string of hits, starting with Toy Story, all done with computer. Pixar, the beautiful girl, has made known her dissatifaction with her current relationship with Disney. She has flirted with other boys in Hollywood, and is doing anything to get a sweeter deal.

Plus all the bosses in the industry think computer is the medium of the future. Hand drawn animation is vinyl. Of course, that wouldn't explain the surprise success of Brother Bear, which Disney seemed determined to sabotague. Nor does it explain the surprise failure of Final Fantasy: The Spirit Within. Perhaps there is more to making a successful animated film than gee-wiz gadgetry.

But, since computers are the wave of the future, according to Eisner, who needs the ink and paint boys? Even legendary animator Glen Keane is being retrained over at the Burbank studios to learn how to work in 3D. Let's hope Disney isn't making a mistake by betting it all on one horse.
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